Takata Deaths May Hit 15 on Honda Malaysia Driver Fatalityby
Air-bag inflator ruptured in 2005 Honda model, carmaker says
Latest fatality is fourth for Honda and Takata in Malaysia
Takata Corp. fell after Honda Motor Co. linked its air bag to a fatal accident in Malaysia on Sunday, potentially raising the number of deaths caused by the faulty devices to 15 worldwide.
The driver of a 2005 Honda City subcompact died after a crash in the western state of Selangor, Honda’s Malaysia unit said in an e-mailed statement Monday. The model was included in a May 2015 recall, according to the Japanese automaker.
The fatality is the third in three months in a Honda vehicle using Takata inflators in Malaysia, where a pregnant woman was killed in the driver’s seat of a Honda City in July 2014. Takata inflators can malfunction and spray shards at vehicle occupants, a flaw that prompted recalls of more than 100 million air bags worldwide. Ten motorists have died in the U.S., and Honda said in January it was investigating a fatality in India.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the driver’s family,” Takata said in an e-mailed statement, which urged consumers to contact their dealers immediately if their vehicle is subject to a recall. “We are working in close collaboration with Honda to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the situation.”
President Shigehisa Takada on Tuesday offered to step down after a new regime is decided, Reuters reported Tuesday as Takata held its annual meeting. Bloomberg News reported in January that Takada, 50, was prepared to resign to placate stakeholders.
Takata erased declines and rose as much as 9 percent, trading up 1.6 percent to 373 yen as of 12:53 p.m. Tuesday in Tokyo. The shares have plunged 72 percent in the past year.
No official cause of death for Sunday’s accident has been yet determined, Honda Malaysia said. While three recall notices were sent to the owner of the vehicle involved , the air bag wasn’t replaced, the company said.